2016 Olympics - Another triumph for our comprehensive educated sportsmen and women

Nigel Ford's picture
 23

Following the 2012 success of our comprehensive Olympians who won 14 of our 18 individual gold medal awards, as these games draw to a close, so far, the comprehensive sector have made a clean sweep of the individual gold medals.

Our winners are Charlotte Dujardin, Andy Murray, Justin Rose, Mo Farah, Max Whitlock, Jason Kenny, Joe Clarke and Adam Peaty, across a range of different sports, be it with a ball or without, indoors or outside, in water or out of it. Jess Ennis-Hill, a previous gold medallist who won silver this year is also worthy of a mention.

There's no doubt that lottery funding is a major factor in these competitors success. Yet despite the lavish facilities and specialised coaching staff enjoyed by the independent sector, to date, they have failed to produce a single individual winner.

This only goes to show that it is the comprehensive school ethos that nurtures that inner toughness and mentality which gives the hard edge needed to attain that top spot.

Guys and girls, you have done the comprehensive sector proud. Where would we be without you? Take a bow.

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Comments

Roger Titcombe's picture
Wed, 17/08/2016 - 16:36

Seriously - it does draw attention to the government's green light for Free Schools that have extremely restricted (sometimes none at all) facilities for PE and sport.


Nigel Ford's picture
Wed, 17/08/2016 - 18:07

Giles Scott and Laura Trott are the latest comprehensive educated individual gold medal winners, bringing the total to 10.


ian thompson's picture
Fri, 19/08/2016 - 18:50

If you had not cherry-picked the data the headline would more accurately read:

'Another triumph for our privately educated sportsmen and women'.

Because 30% of British medals so far during this Olympic games have been won by men and women educated at independent schools, including at least ten gold medals, despite only 7% of pupils attending independent schools.


ian thompson's picture
Fri, 19/08/2016 - 19:05

The independent school medal haul also includes individual and whole squad golds, so your paragraph about clean sweeps should be amended.


Nigel Ford's picture
Fri, 19/08/2016 - 20:29

"30% of British medals."

But I'm talking about individual GOLD medals, which the comprehensive sector dominate. Only Alistair Brownlee of the 13 individual gold medal winners is a product of private education. Jade Jones has brought the tally to 11 out of 13 from the comprehensive sector. Nick Skelton, 58, can't be included in either category since he was educated at a direct grammar school.

The independent lot are performing even worse in 2016, on an individual basis, than in 2012.


ian thompson's picture
Sat, 20/08/2016 - 01:09

I was also talking about individual GOLD medals. Skelton went to Bablake which is unequivocally an independent school. Murray was also privately educated. Brownlee went to Bradford Grammar school which is also independent. Brownlee, Skelton and Murray won individual GOLDs.

But perhaps you would explain how an 'individual' medal is more indicative of 'inner toughness and mentality which gives the hard edge needed to attain that top spot' than group medals. Glover and Stanning who won GOLDs as a coxless pair went to Millfield and Gordonstoun respectively. Have you ever tried rowing? On what grounds do you have the temerity to dismiss their achievement or indeed the other GOLDs that privately educated sportsmen and women won as team players?

I referred to 30 bronze silver and GOLD medals won by the privately educated because unlike you I reckon that the bronze and silver medallists showed 'inner toughness' etc, but perhaps more importantly for the purposes of this discussion the total number of GOLD medallists is too small to be able to draw statistically significant conclusions from it.

When you look at the total of around a hundred medallists it is patently obvious that the private sector is punching above its weight.


ian thompson's picture
Sat, 20/08/2016 - 01:13

correction: - 30% of bronze silver and gold - not 30 bronze etc


Nigel Ford's picture
Sat, 20/08/2016 - 13:23

Talk about distorting the facts.

When Skelton went to Blablake, it was a direct grant grammar. If I had attended a private school which closed down and was taken into state ownership after I left and became a state comp, it wouldn't mean I had attended a comp. What planet are you on? Andy Murray attended Dunblane comp, and no public school as far as I'm aware. I acknowledged Brownlee was the sole private product. As for Glover, she wasn't an individual winner, she was a pairs winner and most of her education was in the state comp sector, but of course because she spent 2 years at Millfield, you include her in the private sector.

And anyway, individual golds carry more prestige than pairs golds or team golds. The gongs, ie MBEs, knighthoods etc tend to go to the individual winners, not doubles/ pairs, or the fly half of the England sevens or the hockey player, which is where the independent sector draw their numbers.

It's the individual gold that is most cherished. Do you think a tennis player values his/her Davies Cup or doubles awards as much as their individual grand slam events? Of course not. It's the same for the Olympics.

And as things stand, the comp sector has 11 out of 13 individual golds and the public school just 1. So it's the comprehensive sector that breeds the mentality, inner toughness, drive, determination and focus to win the ultimate awards, not the spoon fed private schools.


ian thompson's picture
Sat, 20/08/2016 - 15:54

It is called Bablake and it was independent from 1945 to 1957, between 1957 and 1975 the governors chose the Direct Grant Funding system, but before Skelton left it was fully independent again. It did not close down, it was never in state ownership, it always had fee-paying pupils and it was always selective - even you could not confuse this with a comprehensive school.

Murray was sent to an fee paying international school from the age of sixteen.

Glover clearly wasn't an individual winner, she was part of a pair with Stanning and both of them were privately educated. But you forgot about Stanning for some reason. I included Glover in the private sector on the basis that she went to a private school, and one has to presume that if that was from a background of state schooling then that state schooling had obviously been inferior.

However the state sector is fifteen times larger than the private sector and requires results in a ratio of 15:1 to keep up. So if you believe that disregarding all medals but for individual golds suits your purposes then be my guest, but you are currently lagging by a factor of 3. If the private sector only had one individual gold you still wouldn't have enough to support your ridiculous claims.

As for your nonsensical assertion that individual golds are the most prestigious, the Hoy, Wiggins, Redgrave, Pinsent knighthoods indicate how silly that really is (and three of them were privately educated) .


Nigel Ford's picture
Sat, 20/08/2016 - 16:42

I wasn't confusing Blablake with a comprehensive school, merely stating that if the status of the school changes after a person has left, e.g. from private to state it doesn't mean the person attended a state school, or vice versa for that matter.

And according to Wiki, Skelton attended Blablake when it was a direct grant grammar.

The record of private individual gold medal winners in this Olympics is poor. Just 1 out of 13, so far.

If you had a small group of people, akin to the private school sector, and gave them the best cameras, lenses and landscapes together with the specialised tutors, and another larger group, the state sector, inferior equipment and no tutors with less good scenery, you would expect the smaller group to have a disproportionate amount of better photos. But on the Olympic basis, this hasn't happened.

 

 

 


Nigel Ford's picture
Sat, 20/08/2016 - 16:42

I wasn't confusing Blablake with a comprehensive school, merely stating that if the status of the school changes after a person has left, e.g. from private to state it doesn't mean the person attended a state school, or vice versa for that matter.

And according to Wiki, Skelton attended Blablake when it was a direct grant grammar.

The record of private individual gold medal winners in this Olympics is poor. Just 1 out of 13, so far.

If you had a small group of people, akin to the private school sector, and gave them the best cameras, lenses and landscapes together with the specialised tutors, and another larger group, the state sector, inferior equipment and no tutors with less good scenery, you would expect the smaller group to have a disproportionate amount of better photos. But on the Olympic basis, this hasn't happened.

 

 

 


rogertitcombe's picture
Sat, 20/08/2016 - 17:09

Sorry to intrude, but I still think the fact that so many of the new Free Schools are housed in old urban office blocks with no sporting facilities at all is an important current issue.


ian thompson's picture
Sat, 20/08/2016 - 17:36

I couldn't agree more.

There are other issues such as the length of the school day and differences in aspiration between state and private sectors, and in relation to that, minimising differences in outcomes does the state sector no favours.


Nigel Ford's picture
Sat, 20/08/2016 - 17:55

So it goes to show that without the physical assets enjoyed by the private sector, the mental factors of the comprehensive sector come into play even more.


ian thompson's picture
Sat, 20/08/2016 - 17:24

It is called Bablake and it was independent from 1945 to 1957, between 1957 and 1975 the governors chose the Direct Grant Funding system, but before Skelton left it was fully independent again.

The parts of this that you clearly don't understand are at the beginning and end.

The record of privately educated individual gold medal winners so far in this Olympics is twice the state sector's when the size of the populations from which they are drawn are taken into account.

Overall, 1 in 3 medallists were privately educated, despite a £0.5 billion investment in predominantly state educated athletes. Dress that up any way that you like.


Nigel Ford's picture
Sat, 20/08/2016 - 18:02

In fact I was being kind to the private sector by just counting the individual medallists. The amount of individual gold medals won shows an even more superior ratio in favour of the comprehensive sector since Adam Peaty won 2 golds. Fingers crossed for Mo Farah tonight to add to his tally.


Nigel Ford's picture
Sat, 20/08/2016 - 19:27

Correction, I meant Max Whitlock, not Adam Peaty.


ian thompson's picture
Mon, 22/08/2016 - 17:53

As you did mention Adam Peaty, this is a good time to point out that Repton generously gave him the use of their facilities for his training and he wasn't the only state educated athlete to benefit from help from the independent sector.

Final tally - 35% of medallists were privately educated.


Nigel Ford's picture
Mon, 22/08/2016 - 19:45

Final tally, 14 of the 16 individual gold medal winners were exclusively educated in the comprehensive sector in this country. Only Alistair Brownlee was educated in the private sector. From what I read Nick Skelton was at Bablake when it was a direct grant grammar school. 

Without the comprehensive input, the gold medal tally would be pretty meagre.


Nigel Ford's picture
Mon, 22/08/2016 - 19:50

Edit 13 out of 15. I counted No Fatah twice



Janet Downs's picture
Tue, 23/08/2016 - 15:14

'Overall, just under 70 per cent of the medal-winning athletes were educated at state-maintained schools. A handful of athletes, including Tom Daley, the diver, were given scholarships to attend independent schools.'  Schools Week (article includes details).

That said, this trend might not continue if councils keep slashing funding for sporting facilities.  Even Don Valley where Jennifer Ennis-Hill trained is set to close.   Sporting prowess needs investment and not just ad-hoc Lottering funding.


Janet Downs's picture
Wed, 24/08/2016 - 08:11

Guardian reported yesterday that a Coventry all-boys comp, Woodlands, with extensive playing fields and a 'stellar' reputation for sport, is to close.  One of the alleged factors in its closure was the establishment of a free school, Finham Park 2.  The impact assessment produced for Finham Park 2 said its opening could affect the long-term viability of  Woodlands.  But the free school was allowed to go-ahead anyway and was set up in an old office block where parents say there's no outside space.

Olympic legacy?  Allowing schools to open with no outdoor space show the Government's comittment to sport for all is hollow rhetoric.


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